Governor of Jerusalem for the Palestinian Authority Adnan Ghaith on 4 November 2018
The Palestinian governor of occupied Jerusalem has been barred from entering the occupied West Bank for six consecutive months by the Israeli army, under the pretext of participation in “illegal and violent activities”.
Another order was issued by the General Commander of the Central District of the illegal Israeli occupation, which prevents Adnan Ghaith from communicating with the Palestinian Authority, reported IMEMC News.
It was reported that the Israeli army summoned the governor for interrogation in the Al-Maskobiyya detention centre in Jerusalem and he only has 72 hours to file an appeal against the two preconditions.
Following his release from interrogation, Ghaith said that the Palestinian people and their just cause are subject to one of the most aggressive Israeli assaults.
Ghaith, who lives in occupied East Jerusalem, has been detained and his residence in the Silwan neighbourhood raided several times in recent months as part of Israel’s ongoing violations against Palestinian officials, activists and institutions in occupied Jerusalem.
Israel claims that his activities in the city undermine its authority, however, in none of the cases did the occupation present sufficient evidence to justify Ghaith’s continued detention.
“Our people have been facing oppression and constant violations by this illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine, and now the Israeli leadership is approving more decisions and ruling that violate international law,” Ghaith stated.
“But we are the owners of the land and the just cause, and we will continue our legitimate struggle for sovereignty, liberation, and independence.”
This week, PCHR documented 170 violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) by Israeli occupation forces (IOF) and settlers in the occupied Palestinian territory. This was reflected in dealing with the peaceful protests organized against Trump’s Peace Plan for the Middle East known as the “Deal of Century” that violates the rights of the Palestinian people and is in conflict with the United Nation (UN) resolutions and international law. They were as follows:
IOF shooting and violation of right to bodily integrity: IOF injured 8 Palestinian civilians, including two children in the West Bank including occupied East Jerusalem, one of the children Malek ‘Issa (9) was shot with a rubber bullet in the head that caused him permanent loss of vision in his left eye while walking home from school. Video footage as well as PCHR investigations show that the area was completely calm with no confrontations as claimed by IOF when ‘Issa was shot. Additionally, dozens of civilians suffocated due to teargas inhalation during IOF’s suppression of 10 peaceful protests organized against Trump’s peace plan.
In the Gaza Strip, 8 IOF shootings were reported against the agricultural lands in the eastern Gaza Strip while one shooting was reported against the Palestinian fishing boats off the northern Gaza Strip shore.
IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians: IOF carried out 78 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids of civilian houses and shootings, enticing fear among civilians, and attacking many of them. During this week’s incursions, 75 Palestinians were arrested, including 17 children. The incursions included confiscation of money belonging to prisoners under various pretexts.
Settlement expansion activities and settlers’ attacks: PCHR documented 9 IOF operations, including demolitions, land razing and demolition notices. A settlement road was built; a digger was confiscated and ploughing was denied in agricultural lands in Nablus. Meanwhile, in Hebron, a dwelling and an agricultural room were demolished; and 5 dunams were levelled in addition to confiscating and vacating mobile classes. Moreover, a house was demolished in Jericho; land reclamation project for Deir Istayah village, north of Salfit, was stopped. A civilian was forced to self-demolish his house while a barrack used as horse stables and a pit were demolished in occupied East Jerusalem.
PCHR also documented 2 settler-attacks, including levelling 50 dunams in al-Serb area in Yasouf village, east of Salfit, and attacking Palestinian shepherds in their lands in Hebron.
Israeli closure policy and Restrictions on Movement: on Saturday, 15 February 2020, 15 February 2020, the Israeli authorities retightened the restrictions on the fishing area, the cement imports into the Strip and exit permits for businesspersons only 24 hours after declaring the facilitations. These Israeli measures are part of the Israeli collective punishment policy practiced against Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip that aims at harass fishermen and prevent them from sailing and fishing freely in areas where fish breed. On 19 February 2020, the Israeli authorities returned the fishing area to 15 nautical miles and issued new 2000 entry permits to businesspersons.
This comes in a time when the Gaza Strip still suffers the worst closure in the History of the Israeli occupation of the oPt as it has entered the 14th consecutive year, without any improvement to the movement of persons and goods, humanitarian conditions and bearing catastrophic consequences on all aspects of life. Furthermore, IOF uses Erez Crossing that is designated for movement of individuals as an ambush to arrest Palestinians who obtain permits to exit via Israel.
Meanwhile, the West Bank is divided into separate cantons with key roads blocked by the Israeli occupation since the Second Intifada and with temporary and permanent checkpoints, where civilian movement is restricted and they are subject to arrest. This week, IOF arrested 17 Palestinians at temporary military checkpoints.
I. Violation of the right to life and to bodily integrity
1.Excessive Use of Force against Protests in the West Bank
a)Peaceful Demonstrations Condemning Trump’s Peace Plan
IOF suppressed peaceful protests that took part in the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem, condemning the U.S President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace Plan known as “Deal of the Century” that was declared on 28 January 2020. In most of the protests, Palestinians gathered near seam zones and chanted national slogans as some of them threw stones at IOF. IOF responded with live and rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters, which resulted in several injuries. This week, PCHR documented (10) protests in which dozens of civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation.
On Thursday, 13 February 2020, IOF suppressed a protest that took part at “Jaljoulia” checkpoint established southeast of Qalqilia. Dozens of civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation.
On Friday, 14 February 2020, (8) protests took place in the West Bank and were suppressed by IOF.The protests were as follows:1. “Jaljoulia” checkpoint established south of Qalqilia 2. Eastern entrance to Kufur Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqilia 3. “Eyal” crossing established north of Qalqilia 4. Annexation wall gate established at lands of Qifin village, north of Tulkarem 5. Northern entrance established at lands of ‘Azzoun village, east of Qalqilia 6. Annexation wall gate established at the western area to Joyous village, northeast of Qalqilia 7. Annexation wall gate established at lands of Budrus village, west of Ramallah 8. Northern entrance to al-Birah city
At approximately 13:00 on Friday, 14 February 2020, Palestinians from, took part from the center of ‘Aboud village, northwest of Ramallah, into the main entrance in protest against closing the entrance with iron gate and cement cubes since 11 February 2020. The protestors chanted national slogans, demanding the end of Occupation and condemning IOF crimes against Palestinian civilians. The protestors threw stones at IOF stationed in the area. IOF fired live and rubber bullet, sound bombs and tear gas canisters. The protestors also clashed with IOF soldiers. As a result, a 22-year-old young man was shot and injured with a Two-Two bullet in the feet, a 26-year-old young man was shot with a tear gas canister in the head, and a 21-year-old young man was shot with a live bullet in the foot. The wounded civilians were transferred to Palestine Medical Complex for medical treatment.2. Shooting and other Violations of the Right to Life and Bodily Integrity
At approximately 02:00 on Thursday, 13 February 2020, IOF backed by 10 military SUVs moved into Ramallah and stationed in al-Tirah neighborhood, west of the city. They raided and searched a number of houses and confiscated surveillance cameras from civilians’ houses. In the meantime, a number of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones at IOF vehicles. IOF fired sponge-tipped bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the young men. As a result, a 25-year-old young man was shot with a rubber bullet in the head, a 19-year-old young man was shot with a rubber bullet in the left thigh, and a 21-year-old young man was shot with a rubber bullet in the right foot. The wounded civilians were referred to Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah for medical treatment. Furthermore, a number of civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation and they received medical treatment on the field.
At approximately 14:50 on the same Thursday, IOF soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of Deir al-Balah in central Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands adjacent to the border fence. No casualties were reported.
At approximately 15:00, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Gaza Valley (Juhor al-Deek), south of Gaza City, opened fire at agricultural lands adjacent to the border fence. No casualties were reported.
At approximately 11:00 on Friday, 14 February 2020, IOF soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of Deir al-Balah in central Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands adjacent to the border fence. No casualties were reported.
At approximately 14:00 on the same Friday, IOF soldiers established a military checkpoint at the entrance to Dura city, south of Hebron. Soldiers stopped vehicles and checked ID cards of the passengers. In the meantime, a number of Palestinian youngsters gathered near the entrance to al-Hijrah village, adjacent to the abovementioned checkpoint, and threw stones at Israeli soldiers. The soldiers chased the youngsters and fired tear gas canisters. As a result, a number of civilians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation.
At approximately 14:20 on the same Friday, IOF gunboats stationed adjacent to Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, chased and heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats stationed within 2 – 3 nautical miles. Fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives. No casualties were reported.
At approximately 14:30 on the same Friday, dozens of Palestinian young men gathered at the entrance to Beit Ummer village, north of Hebron, where IOF deployed near a military watchtower established at the village’s eastern entrance. The young men burnt tires and threw stones at IOF vehicles. The soldiers fired rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at stone-throwers, closed the village entrance, and prevented Palestinians’ vehicles from entering and exiting the village. Furthermore, a number of soldiers deployed at the bypass road adjacent to Beit Ummer Petrol Station. The young men later withdrew from ‘Asidah area after Israeli soldiers chased them. In the meantime, Israeli soldiers detained Bilal ‘Essa Khader Abu Maria (17), who was present near the petrol station, taking him to a military watchtower. Cashes continued until 17:30. IOF released Abu Maria at 19:00.
At approximately 15:20, IOF soldiers stationed along the border fence, east of al-Maghazi refugee camp in central Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands adjacent to the border fence. Neither casualties no material damage were reported.
At approximately 21:00 on the same Thursday, IOF moved into al-‘Isawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Ziyad Tareq Abu Ryalah’s, 23 house and arrested him. A number of Palestinian young men and children gathered and threw stones at IOF vehicles and the IOF fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters. As a result, Mohammed al-‘Afifi, 16 was shot with a rubber bullet in the leg. After al-‘Afifi was injured; IOF attacked him by heavily beating him in his head. IOF also prevented Palestinian ambulance from approaching al-‘Afifi and providing him first aid on the field. After that, an Israeli ambulance arrive and transferred him to a hospital for treatment. Later, al-‘Afifi was referred to an Israeli investigation center.
At approximately 06:50, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands in eastern al-Qararah village, adjacent to the border fence. No casualties were reported.
At approximately 05:30 on the same Friday, IOF raided al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City for the fifth consecutive Friday. IOF attacked the worshipers at the end of Dawn prayer and forced them to evacuate the mosque. Eyewitnesses stated that IOF chased worshipers, who were present between Bab Hettah and Bab al-Asbat and attacked them by buttons and sticks. As a result, 3 civilians sustained bruises and minor wounds and they received medical treatment on the field. IOF also arrested Bashar Hamzah Najib (20) and Mohammed Nasser al-Bakri, 21, and took them to an investigation center.
At approximately 13:50, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza Strip, fired live bullets and tear gas canisters at a group of Palestinian civilians and agricultural lands, east of Khuza’ah village, adjacent to the border fence. No casualties were reported.
IOF shot and injured a Palestinian child with a rubber bullet in the head in al-‘Isawiya village, northeast of occupied Jerusalem, the child has lost vision in his left eye.According to PCHR’s investigations and eyewitnesses’ statements, at approximately 13:00 on Saturday, 15 February 2020, IOF moved into al-‘Isawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, and stationed in the center of the village. In the meantime, Malek Wa’el ‘Essa (9) was present in front of a grocery shop adjacent to his grandfather’s house. Without a justification, IOF fired rubber bullets and tear gas canisters to cover-up their raid. As a result, Malek was shot with a rubber bullet in the head. He was transferred to Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem for medical treatment. Medical exam in his face, above his nose and near his eye. Malek lost his left eye. A video published in social media documenting the moment of Malek’s injury and clarifying that there were no clashes in the area in contrary to the IOF police claims.
At approximately 00:10 on Sunday, 16 February 2020, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence, adjacent to Sofa military site, east of al-Shoka village, east of Rafah, opened fire at agricultural lands adjacent to the border fence. No casualties were reported.
At approximately 08:20 on Monday, 17 February 2020, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Kahn Younis in southern Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands in eastern ‘Abasan village, adjacent to the border fence. No casualties were reported.II. Incursions and ArrestsThursday, 13 February 2020:
At approximately 01:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles, moved into Ethna, west of Hebron. They raided and searched Mohammed Ghawar Tmaizi’s, 40, house and arrested him.
At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Kafr Ra’I village, southwest of Jenin. They raided and searched Tha’er Issam Isma’el Ya’aqba’s, 34, house and arrested him. IOF confiscated (38,000) Shekels (NIS).
At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Betounya, west of Ramallah. Dozens of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones at the soldiers, who fired a barrage of tear gas canisters, sound bombs, and rubber bullets at them. Resulted in causing suffocation to many of the civilians who were treated on the spot. IOF raided and searched several houses and arrested Ahmed Munir al-Malhi (22).
At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into Beit Sira village, west of Ramallah. They raided and searched Abdullah Mohammed Abu Safiya, 19, and took him to “Ofer” prison in Betounya, west of Ramallah. Abu Safiya was released at approximately 18:00 of the same day.
At approximately 11:00, IOF stationed at the gate of the military building in the entrance of al-Nabi Saleh village, northeast of Ramallah, arrested Adham Izzat al-Rimawi (25), from Beit Rima and took him to an unknown destination.
At approximately 12:45, IOF arrested Khaled Waleed Ja’edi, 25 from Qalqilia, after stopping his car at a temporary military checkpoint on the entrance of Jinsafout, east of Qalqilia. Khaled who is a member of the Palestinian Civil Defense, was released at approximately 14:15 of the same day.
At approximately 13:50, IOF patrols in the northern valleys, east of Tubas, arrested three farmers while shepherding their sheep. After four hours IOF released the shepherds: Hamad Abdulrahman Khalil, Mohammed Nayef al-Faqir, and Khalil Sharif Zawahra.
At approximately 14:00, IOF stationed on the entrance of Beit Ummer, south of Hebron, arrested Ahmed Khalil Abed Abu Hashem, 53, while driving his taxi near the military building there. Ahmed was taken to the military building then to the investigation center in the occupied Jerusalem. At approximately 21:00, Ahmed was released near the military observation point on the entrance of al-‘Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron. Ahmed said to PCHR’s fieldworker that IOF investigated with him about his own so-called plan “Deal of the Century” and organizing an anti-Donald Trump protests and closing (60) bypass street to protest against the Israeli electricity. Furthermore, photographing for “Betselim” the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights.
Around the same time, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles, moved into al-Dhesha refugee camp, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched several houses and took (3) civilians to an unknown destination. The arrestees are Wajdi Adel Daraghmeh, 20, Belal Ibrahim al-Dibis, 50, and his son Mohammad, 20.
At approximately 16:00, IOF stationed at Za’tara checkpoint, south of Nablus, arrested Ma’moun Mustafa al-Dalou, 28, from Qalqilia, and took him to an unknown destination.
Around the same time, IOF stationed on the entrance of Beit Ummer village, north of Hebron, arrested Hasan Mohammed Za’aqiq (17) while passing near the military watch tower. Hasan was released two hours later.
At approximately 18:00, IOF stationed at Jaljoulia checkpoint, south of Qalqilia, arrested Mahmoud Issam Mahmoud Suliman, 12, from Qalqilia. IOF released Mahmoud at approximately 19:00.
At approximately 23:00, IOF severely beat 4 Palestinian civilians including one wounded, while present around Bab al-Maghariba (one of occupied Jerusalem’s Gates). IOF arrested them after exchanging verbal altercation with a group of Israeli settlers. The arrestees are: Nidal Abu Irmila, 22, Haitham Ameen Syam, 26, Malek mohammed Abu Souy, 20, and Ahmed Swaidan. In the early morning hours, IOF released them, and banned their entry to Bab al-Maghariba for 15 days.
IOF carried out 3 incursions in Dura, Karma, and Tafouh villages in Hebron. No arrests were reported.Friday, 14 February 2020:
At approximately 10:00, IOF stationed at Za’tara checkpoint, southeast of Nablus. They raided and searched Hussain Abd al-Min’em, 28, from Douma village, southeast Nablus, while passing through the checkpoint, and took him to an unknown destination.
At approximately 11:30, IOF stationed at Jit military checkpoint, southwest of Nablus, arrested Mo’tasem Ahmed ‘Aref Abu Husain (26) and Omar Mohammed ‘Aref Abu Husain, 25, and took them to an unknown destination. Later, IOF claimed that Mo’tasem and Omar threw grenade at them, according to “Walla” website.
At approximately 14:00, IOF arrested Jihad Mahmoud al-Titi, 22, from al-‘Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron, while passing through a military checkpoint on the entrance of al-‘Aroub refugee camp. Jihad was taken to an unknown destination.
IOF carried out 4 incursions in Hebron, al-Hadab, Sa’er, and Beit Kahel villages in Hebron.Saturday, 15 February 2020:
At approximately 01:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into al-‘Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron. They raided and searched Nader Wajeeh Banat’s, 20, house and arrested him.
At approximately 03:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into al-Hijra village, east of Dura, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched Sa’eed Ahmed Hudaib’s, 40, house and arrested his two sons: Bara’, 20, and Ahmed, 14. Around the same time, IOF moved into Khaled Mohammed Abu Moqadam’s, 28, house and arrested him. IOF took the three arrestees to an unknown destination.
At approximately 19:00, IOF stationed at Dotan checkpoint, southwest of Jenin, arrested Bara’ Reyad Khamees Abu ‘Abed, 19, from Nour Shams refugee camp, east of Tulkarem. Bara’ was taken to an unknown destination.
Around the same time, IOF moved into al-Isawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Faisal Loay Obaid, 19, and Mohammed Marwan Obaid, 20, and arrested them.
At approximately 20:50, IOF arrested Sanad Abd al-Fattah Ja’edi, 26, from Qalqilia, after stopping him at a temporary military checkpoint near Jit village, northeast of the city.
Around the same time, IOF arrested Bara’ Khamees Abu ‘Abed, 29, from Nour al-Shams refugee camp, in Tulkarem, after stopping him at a temporary military checkpoint near Ya’bod, in Jenin.
IOF carried out 4 incursions in Dura, Beit Owa, Sourif, and Tarqoumeya. No arrests were reported.III. Settlement Expansion and Settler Violence in the West Bank1. Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property for Settlement Expansion Activities
On Thursday, 13 February 2020, Israeli military construction vehicles started to build an 8 km long settlement road connecting “Eli“ and “Shiloh“ settlements, which are established on Palestinian lands, southeast of Nablus. This road will pass through agricultural lands from Duma, Talfeet, Qarqout and al-Mogheer villages in southern Nablus, to Fasayil village lands in the Middle Jordan Valley. The building of this road aims to connect the Middle Jordan Valley with southern Nablus.
At approximately 11:00 on Thursday, 13 February 2020, IOF accompanied with military construction vehicles and backed by Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Khelet al-‘Aida near Johar Mount, south of Hebron. The military construction vehicles demolished Belal ‘Eliyan Othman al-Rajbi’s 40-square-meter house built of tin plates, under the pretext of non-licensing. It should be noted that on 02 September 2019, Israeli authorities demolished another house belonging to al-Rajbi after handing him several demolition notices.
At approximately 12:00, IOF accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into al-‘Asher area in Beit Foreek village, northeast of Nablus. IOF confiscated Raslan Mohamed Hanini’s JCB digger while constructing a water well on a plot of land belonging to the heirs of the deceased Ghaleb Mohamed Suliman al-Kurdi, under the pretext of constructing in Area C. The digger was taken to “Makhora“ settlement in Northern Jordan Valley, ordering al-Kurdi family to refer to the Israeli Liaison.
At approximately 08:00 on Saturday, 15 February 2020, IOF demolished Mousa ‘Abed al-Hadi Ka’abnah’s, 35, tin-plate 60-sqaure-meter house in Tal al-Samadi area in Jeftlik village, under the pretext of non-licensing. Ka’aband said that IOF accompanied with military construction vehicles moved into the village and surrounded his house without warning, “IOF forced me and my family (my wife and our 3 children) out of the house and demolished it”. It should be noted that house was in fact a room built of concrete and roofed with tin plates.
At approximately 11:30 on Saturday, 11 February 2020, IOF stopped working in a project designated for agricultural reclamation in Dir Sityia village in northern Salfit, under the pretext of being in Area C. IOF confiscated all construction vehicles working in the area. They also detained the Mayor of Dirsitiyia village, Sa’ied Zidan, his deputy Tayseer Diab, and a farmer, Nizam Isma’il al-Khateeb for 4 hours and released them later.
At approximately 10:00 on Monday, 17 February 2020, IOF backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with the Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into al-Taiba area, east of Tarqumiyia, west of Hebron. The bulldozer demolished a 20-square-meter agricultural room built of bricks and tin plates, and razed 5 dunams belonging to Ibrahim Mohamed Dababsa. IOF claimed that the construction and reclamation works were carried out without getting a prior permission from the Israeli component authorities as al-Taiba area located in Area C.
On Monday, 17 February 2020, Montaser Salah Shoqairat implemented the Israeli Municipality decision and self-demolished his house in Khelet al-‘Abed area in al-Mokaber Mount village, south of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Shoqairat said that the Israeli Municipality ordered him to self-demolish his 2-storey house or it will do so and bill him demolition costs. Shoqairat clarified that in December 2019 the Israeli Municipality construction vehicles demolished his 240 square meter family house. Shoqairat added that all his family members became homeless.
At approximately 07:30 on Tuesday, 18 February 2020, Israeli bulldozers demolished Khalil Rawad’s barrack and leveled Ahmed Warrad Za’artah’s pit in al-Mokaber Mount village, south of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing.
At approximately 09:00 on Wednesday, 19 February 2020, IOF backed by military construction vehicles and accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Sosiyia village in southern Hebron. Israeli soldiers were deployed between residential tents while the Israeli Civil Administration officers vacated a mobile classroom built of tip plates and sheltered students from al-Sosiyia School. The Israeli bulldozer pulled the mobile classroom few meters away and confiscated it under the pretext of placing it without getting a prior permission. Meanwhile, Palestinian civilians attempted to confront IOF and prevent them from confiscating the classroom, but IOF stopped them and arrested Suliman Salem al-‘Aidah, 55, taking him to an investigation center in “Kiryat ‘Arab” settlement in eastern Hebron.2. Israeli Settler Violence
At approximately 23:45 on Sunday, 16 February 2020, Israeli settlers levelled 50 dunams in al-Sarb area, which belongs to Yasouf village lands, east of Salfit, in order to expand and build a new road for “Novi Nehemiah“ settlement. During the demolition, the village residents gathered and attempted to confront the settlers’ attacks. Meanwhile, IOF intervened and fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the residents. As a result, many residents suffocated due to tear gas inhalation. IOF also arrested Nedal ‘Abed al-Latif ‘Abiyia and Nadeem Fakher ‘Abdullah and released them later.
At approximately 10:00 on Tuesday, 18 February 2020, Israeli settlers, from “Ma’on” settlement, which is established on the confiscated Palestinian lands in eastern Yatta, threw stones at Palestinian shepherds while present on their lands in al-Hamra area and forced them to leave.For the full document, visit Palestinian Center for Human Rights PCHR/Gaza
In a report issued, on Thursday, the Prisoners and Ex-Prisoners’ Affairs Authority released the testimony of the prisoner, Halima Khandakji, 45, from the town of Deir Sudan, Ramallah District, in which she tells details of her torture during interrogation inside the occupation detention cells.
The report says “During her interrogation, she was hung to the wall twice, by handcuffing her hands and feet and then attaching her to the wall, she was also denied use of the bathroom, in addition to being mocked and insulted.”
The report states that the prisoner Khandakji is the mother of three children whom remains detained at this time, is currently suffering from severe back, hands and leg pains due to the torture and abuse she suffered during interrogation, the Palestine News Network (PNN) reported.
A car filled with Palestinian teens was attacked by Israeli forces on Thursday evening. The car was driving near the Palestinian town of Beitin, east of Ramallah, when Israeli forces stationed at a checkpoint targeted the vehicle and began shooting.
According to local sources, the Israeli occupation forces wounded a boy and abducted three others, after they shot up a vehicle east of Ramallah, on Thursday evening.
The sources told the Palestinian Wafa news ageny that the Israeli forces opened fire on a vehicle that was traveling near the village of Beitin, east of Ramallah, and hit a teen, Mohammad Abdel Majeed Sarma, 16, who was driving the car.
Mohammad was struck with a bullet in his abdomen and another in the thigh, and was transported an Israeli ambulance to a Jerusalem hospital.
The other three teens in the car were abducted by Israeli forces.
They were identified as Mahmoud Muhammad Awawda (15 years old), Saif Al-Din Awawdeh (15 years) and Dhia Al-Din Awawdeh (15 years), all from the village of Deir Dibwan, located east of Ramallah.
The occupation forces claimed that they shot the vehicle because it was driving in a suspicious manner, but did not provide details as to the nature of this ‘suspicious’ behavior.
Josep Borrell, the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the European Union/Vice-President of the European Commission, on Thursday, met with the Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, Dr. Riyad Al-Malki.
Borrell stressed the EU’s continued commitment to a negotiated two-state solution, and welcomed the Palestinian commitment to engage in the resumption of meaningful negotiations, the Palestinian News Network (PNN) reports.
He reiterated his readiness to work with both parties, regional actors and international partners to revive a political process, in line with international law.
The so-called “Deal of the Century”, introduced by US President, Donald Trump, last month, has emboldened Israel in its colonial endeavour, with the approval of thousands of new illegal settlement units are underway, in contrast with the destruction of lawful Palestinian property.
Occupied Jerusalem (QNN)- Israeli forces on Friday arrested a Palestinian lady under the pretext of trying to stab settlers in the illegal settlement of Armon ha-Natsiv, which is built on land stolen from Jabal Al Mukabbir in southern Jerusalem.
According to the Israeli claims, the young lady is from occupied Jerusalem. She tried to stab settlers using a knife before being arrested.
Israeli media said that an illegal settler and an Israeli cop attacked the lady and arrested her.
The Israelis, however, did not report any casualties among settlers or soldiers.
Ramallah (QNN)- Israeli media reported that the so-called “Israeli planning and construction committee” will approve to build over 1900 new illegal settlement units in the West Bank as directed by the Israeli minister of war, Naftali Bennet.
The Israeli newspaper “Israel Hayom” reported that the committee will approve next week the construction of over 1900 settlement units in West Bank illegal settlements as directed by Bennet.
The newspaper added that the committee will have a meeting on Wednesday to approve the plans before the elections on March 2nd.
In the same vein, Bennet said “we will never hand over even a single inch of the land to the Arabs. In order to do that, we need to continue settlement because it is a pillar of Zionism. We have to expand and accelerate it.”
Khader al-Saidi lost his eyesight and sense of smell when Israeli navy forces fired rubber-coated steel bullets at his face while he was fishing in the sea off Gaza.
The 32-year-old was silent at first when The Electronic Intifada came to interview him.
His father, Marwan, had already cautioned that Khader may halt the interview at any moment.
Marwan filled the silence. He spoke of the family’s long history of making a living from fishing, of how his grandfathers used to fish the sea before him and how the 60-year-old’s own sons had followed in his footsteps.
Fishing is an integral part of Gaza’s culture, nutrition and economy. Israel’s routine attacks on fishers in Gaza continue to devastate the industry.
Also in the room was Khader’s friend and fishing companion, Muhammad Abu Riyala, 36, who also spoke about the dangers of fishing outside Gaza.
After a while, though, Khader broke his silence.
“We, fishermen, can’t work in any place but the sea,” he said. “I’m like the fish. If I leave the sea, I die.”
The black night
This was Khader’s way to start talking about the attack that left him blind, an attack that took place on what he has since been calling “the black night.”
On 20 February 2019, Khader left Gaza’s port on his boat with his cousin Muhammad.
The pair headed to the south toward the coast off Khan Younis, Khader said, in the southern area of the territory. They had been working there for two months after Israel had expanded the fishing zone to 12 nautical miles.
At around 10 pm, as Khader and Muhammad were pulling their fishing nets from the water at an area, he said, of approximately nine nautical miles out from the coast, five Israeli navy boats began approaching them.
Without warning, the Israeli soldiers opened fire. They tried to escape but Israeli navy boats surrounded them quickly. Then the soldiers began firing rubber-coated steel bullets towards the two fishermen – 15 according to one count – injuring Muhammad in his chest and stomach, and Khader in his back, leg, chest and face.
When Khader woke up, he found himself shackled by his hands and legs to a hospital bed.
Khader and his cousin had both been detained and taken to Barzilai Medical Center in southern Israel.
“I tried to open my eyes, but to no avail. Everything was black. I started screaming until a doctor came,” Khader said.
“With broken Arabic, he told me that they removed my right eye, and that in the coming hours I would have surgery in my left eye.”
This was Khader’s fifth arrest since he started fishing at 12 years old.
His last arrest lasted a year, he said, and included 37 days in solitary confinement. He was released in April 2018.
When Israel detains Gaza fishers, according to the Palestinian Fishermen Syndicate in Gaza, they confiscate their boats and fishing equipment.
Thus the past two years have cost Khader some $28,000.
When Khader woke up after the second surgery, the doctor informed him that the operation had failed.
The Israeli military then offered him, he said, $100,000. It was hush money so he wouldn’t file a lawsuit.
“Despite losing my sight, and in addition to the financial losses, I never considered saying yes. I refused immediately,” Khader said.
He has filed suit through the Palestinian Center for Human Rights. A researcher there told The Electronic Intifada that Khader’s case has been submitted to an Israeli court, but there has been no response so far.
Nizar Ayyash, head of the fishers’ syndicate, said that “the majority of fishers arrested by Israel were within the agreed fishing area. In detention, the fishermen are subjected to torture and other cruel and degrading psychological treatment.”
In October 2019, Al Mezan, a human rights group in Gaza, found that Israel had committed 1,034 violations against fishers since 2015, using live ammunition a majority of the time.
The fact sheet affirmed Ayyash’s assertion that the majority of violations took place within the limits Israel imposes for fishing.
Israel released Khader after holding him for four days at the hospital.
Two people accompanied Khader to Erez, the military checkpoint separating Gaza and Israel, and left him alone at the entrance with a document instructing him to return to the hospital for medical review on 11 March 2019.
“I didn’t know what to do or where to go. I’ve just lost my sight. I started crying and calling people to help me. Within minutes, a merchant returning to Gaza came to help me,” Khader said.
The merchant asked a driver to transfer Khader to the Palestinian side of the checkpoint. Khader then asked the driver to call his friend Abu Riyala.
Khader and Abu Riyala have been friends for 15 years. They worked together and shared losses caused by Israel; in May that year, Israeli navy forces confiscated Abu Riyala’s $300,000 boat. In 2015, Israel shot and killed his brother, Tawfiq, in his boat.
“I’ll never forget my friend returning to Gaza. His face was puffy and there was blood on his nose and chest,” said Abu Riyala, who supports a family of 17.
“I took Khader to the hospital immediately. They told us that the bones around his right eye were destroyed and the inner parts of the eye and the retina are removed.”
On 11 March 2019, as Khader was preparing himself to travel back for his surgery to reconnect the severed nerve in his left eye, Marwan received a text message telling him that his son has been refused for security reasons.
“The hospital determined a new date for the surgery: May 2019,” Khader said.
“Before the second date, I had the chance to travel to Egypt with my father.”
There, Khader had a glass eye implanted in his right eye socket, while doctors informed him that there was no chance he could regain sight in his left eye.
“I went to the doctors to examine my nose as well. The upper area of my nose is totally damaged but doctors told me that I might restore my sense of smell with time.”
Khader returned from Egypt depressed. He wasn’t sleeping and had no appetite.
“My family stood by me. They tried to reassure me by telling me that there’s still hope when I travel to Israel by the end of May,” he said.
“When the second date for the surgery came, I received another security rejection. We submitted eight requests after that, with the same result every time.”
After seven months of Israeli procrastination, Khader was permitted to travel to the Rabin Medical Center in Petah Tikva, a city east of Tel Aviv, with his mother.
“Doctors told me that there’s no treatment for my case, and maybe if I return to Israel after four years they might have advanced treatment for me.”
“Seeing and smelling my children”
By the end of the four-hour interview with The Electronic Intifada, Khader’s wife Hadil, 25, came with their three children: Muhammad, Hashim, and Inas.
Inas, 3, jumped to her father’s lap and asked him to see a scratch on her leg. Khader took a deep breath and told his daughter that she’ll be okay.
“I feel there’s hope, we have to wait,” Hadil said, putting her hands on Khader’s shoulder.
Khader interrupted her, however.
“I’m done, Israel destroyed my life. I’m still young but I lost everything that made me happy: the sea, and seeing and smelling my children. It seems impossible to have this again.”
Recently, Hadil started learning how to embroider to make a living to support her family.
Khader’s story is one among 4,000 fishermen working in Gaza, supporting 70,000 family members, all of whom are subjected to Israeli blockade and violations against this sector.
Economic expert Maher al-Tabah said that “if Israel released the blockade on the fishing sector, this would elevate Gaza’s economy by 27 percent and Palestine’s economy by 9 percent.”
Abdullah al-Najjar is the last boat maker in Gaza.
Fully aware that he plies a vanishing trade, Abdullah, 61, is nonetheless trying to keep it alive in a time-honored way. He is training his son Jamil, 25, so that his skills can be handed on to the next generation.
Abdullah himself began learning how to build boats when he was in his early teens. He was taught how to do so by an uncle.
“Boat making is almost nonexistent in Gaza today,” said Abdullah. “That is because of the high costs involved, the fact that raw materials are scarce and the restrictions placed on fishers.”
Gaza’s maritime traditions have deep roots.
In ancient times, a Greek port known as Antidon was established near present-day Gaza City. Fishing – particularly for tuna, sardines, shrimp and squid – has long been a key source of livelihood for Palestinians living along the coast.
Despite surviving for so long, the traditions are now at grave risk because of Israel’s policies.
The Oslo accords – signed between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization during the 1990s – allowed Gaza’s fishers to work in a zone that stretched for 20 nautical miles. In reality, Israel has never allowed fishers to venture beyond 15 miles of the coast.
Since the beginning of the second intifada in 2000 Israel has reduced the size of the zone repeatedly. The effect has been a sharp fall in the number of Gaza’s fishers – from approximately 10,000 in 2000 to just 3,500 in 2013.
Today Gaza has about 3,700 fishers, only 2,000 of whom go out to sea on a daily basis.
The size of the zone in which fishing is permitted has continued to fluctuate. Israel introduced 20 changes to its demarcation in 2019 alone.
Earlier this month, the Israeli military announced that it was once again reducing the size of the zone. No fishers are allowed to go beyond 10 nautical miles of the coast; in areas south of Gaza’s port, the zone is only six nautical miles.
Israel stated that the reduction was imposed because rockets were being fired and incendiary balloons were being flown from Gaza. Yet Israel did not produce any evidence linking fishers to such actions.
The restrictions on fishers constitute collective punishment, which is illegal under international law.
Fishers have also been repeatedly attacked. The UN monitoring group OCHA has reported that during a two-week period in December, Israel opened fire on fishers off Gaza’s coast at least seven times, sinking one boat.
Throughout his career, Abdullah al-Najjar has made around 30 trawlers. Such vessels are 17.5 meters long, 5.5 meters wide and 2.5 meters in height.
They can command a price of $70,000 each.
Abdullah’s business has nearly collapsed since Israel’s blockade on Gaza was severely tightened in 2007. He has made just two boats in the past 13 years; one of them was for use by his own sons.
“Fishers have stopped buying new boats,” he said. “And they can only mend their old boats when they get help from charities.”
Despite all these difficulties, “I have insisted on teaching my son how to make boats,” Abdullah added.
Of his 13 children, he chose Jamil as the inheritor of his skills.
“Jamil is so talented,” said Abdullah. “He reminds me of myself when I was young.”
“I need experience,” said Jamil. “So far, I’ve only been able to make one boat with my father. I need more practice.”
“Graveyard for boats”
Israel’s tightened siege of Gaza – now in its 14th year – has placed major obstacles in their way.
Israel has prevented a large number of goods from entering Gaza. As a result, vital components of and equipment for fishing vessels – such as nets, fiberglass, electric motors and steel ropes – are hard to obtain.
The shortages of materials and the generally dire economic situation in Gaza have also meant that Gaza’s fishers cannot carry out much-needed repairs on their boats.
Zakaria Baker from the Union of Agricultural Work Committees – which represents both farmers and fishers in Gaza – estimates that there are 300 boats that will not be seaworthy until they are mended.
“We keep them in a place that we call the ‘graveyard for boats,’” Baker said.
Israel has frequently confiscated the boats of Gaza’s fishers.
In 2016, Abdulmuti al-Habil’s trawler was attacked and seized by the Israeli navy. After a lawsuit was filed in Israel’s high court, his boat was eventually given back to him last year.
He went to collect the boat at Kerem Shalom, a military checkpoint between Israel and Gaza.
The court ordered, too, the release of 65 boats which had been seized from other fishers. They have been returned but often without engines and without equipment that was onboard at the time they were confiscated.
“My heart leaped with joy when they told me my boat was being released,” said al-Habil, who heads al-Tawfiq, a fisheries cooperative. “But my happiness didn’t last long. I was shocked when I saw my boat. It was almost destroyed.”
Israel had badly damaged the boat with its gunfire.
Al-Habil contacted Abdullah al-Najjar, who examined the boat. Mending it would cost $50,000, Abdullah calculated.
Al-Habil agreed to that price and received the repaired boat two months later. Both Nabil and Abdullah worked on repairing it.
Trawlers are not the only fishing vessels used in Gaza. Numerous fishers have gone to sea in a small boat known as the hassaka.
Gaza has three workshops for producing these boats, yet none of them is functioning at the moment.
The shortages of materials – especially fiberglass – has made the cost of production and, as a consequence, the retail price more expensive. Fishers would need $8,500 to buy a new hassaka in Gaza, a price that most of them cannot afford.
“The demand for hassakas is very weak,” said Mufeed Jarbou, who has made these boats for the past three decades. “Over the past four years, we have almost stopped producing them.”